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Métis Nation of Ontario calls for federal land claim process

Sault Ste. Marie -

After 171 years of broken land promises, the Metis Nation of Ontario are calling on the federal government to create framework for dealing with historical grievances.

Members from the Metis Nation of Ontario gathered in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday to sign a letter to the federal and provincial governments, asking for the development of a formal Métis land claim process.

"You can't have a process that allows for First Nations and Inuit to have a fair, transparent and properly-resourced process, while Métis simply can't apply because of a technicality created by Indian affairs," said Mitch Case, Region 4 councillor for the Métis Nation of Ontario.

Oct. 21 marked the 171st anniversary of Treaty Commissioner William B. Robinson's report to the Crown that included the promise to protect Metis lands that make up part of the Sault's downtown core.

"Until I hear from Canada a firm no, at which point we would have to consider other options, I'm hopeful," Case said. "Whether it be monetary compensation or land-in-lieu, frankly, that's the conversation that needs to be supported by that first request, the research and consultation component because we have to have that conversation with (the) community."

Case said he would be meeting with Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan for further consultations, which was confirmed by Sheehan in a statement.

"The federal government has signed a historic Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreements with Métis partners, including the Métis Nation of Ontario," Sheehan stated.

"These agreements affirm the Métis right of self-government and also set out next steps to formally recognize Métis governments as Indigenous governments in Canadian law. They also set out processes for negotiating other agreements dealing with additional areas of jurisdiction in the future." Top Stories

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